How to Make a Robin Nest Box

Robins build nests in trees or on other structures. Some of us naturally think that the robins that make their nests in the most natural settings will have better success than those that nest on houses. Sure enough, once in a while a baby robin crashes to a hard cement patio and dies when it first fledges from a nest built on a porch light. Baby robins in tree nests have far softer landings in the branches below their nest branch.

Nest Boxes Can Help Protect Baby Robins
A problem even more dangerous to baby robins than falling is predation, especially by American Crows. Most crows are reluctant to come too close to buildings, so robins that nest on porch lights, window sills, eaves, and other spots on houses are usually safe from them. Robins nesting on buildings are often easy to study during their nesting period. If you want to study nesting robins, getting them to nest in a box or other structure can be good for you AND good for the robins!

Problems associated with robins nesting on houses:

  • Robin adults may attack people who come too close. If you put up a nest shelf, you might want to locate it on a side of the house that gets little human traffic.
  • Robins may discover their reflection in a window, and start attacking it. This happens as often with robins nesting in trees as on houses. To deal with that issue, see Help! There's a Robin Hitting My Window!
  • Baby robins may crash to hard cement below. If you want to put up a nest platform above a deck, patio, sidewalk, or other hard surface, a few days before the babies are due to fledge you might want to put a wheelbarrow or wagon filled with something soft below.

More Nesting Questions and Answers: See FAQ

Nest Box Plans

Nest Box
Carrol Henderson's robin nest shelf, from Woodworking for Wildlife, published by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources